Rutger Hauer goes from android to arts teacher

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:56am EDT
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By Ben Berkowitz

ROTTERDAM (Reuters Life!) - Ask any American who Rutger Hauer is and they'll likely remember his hallmark role as the artificial human Roy Batty in 1982's "Blade Runner."

But for 30 young directors, producers and actors who are gathered here this week, Hauer is their ticket to the next stage of their careers.

It's an unlikely combination in many ways - an actor best known for a role he played a generation ago and a crop of young artists who were still in diapers when the movie came out.

But in his home country of the Netherlands Hauer is a serious and respected filmmaker - a reputation he is leveraging for the third instalment of the Rutger Hauer Filmfactory, a 10-day masterclass with instruction from some of the movie world's leading behind-the-scenes players.

"To me it made sense. I don't think it made sense to a whole lot of people," Hauer told Reuters in an interview on the first day of the Filmfactory program late last week.

As crews hustled to put the last touches on the production space the students will use to make their movies, Hauer buzzed around, his phone ringing incessantly and his schedule overflowing with last-minute details. But he made it clear he preferred that to the alternative.

"I could do nothing. This is the hardest thing," said Hauer, who at 65 still has the sharp blue eyes and flowing blond hair that made him instantly recognizable to a generation.

But his methods are not stuck in the past - he carries around a small camera, not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes, that shoots an hour of digital video in high definition.   Continued...

<p>Rutger Hauer, one of the stars of the film "Sin City" poses at the film's premiere in Los Angeles March 28, 2005. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>